An intersessional working group was established by the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC-7/5) to undertake intersessional work on the process of listing chemicals in Annex III to the Convention.
The intersessional working group is mandated to:
Review the cases in which the Conference of the Parties was unable to reach consensus on the listing of a chemical by identifying the reasons for and against listing and, based on that and other information such as the information set out in documents UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/12 and UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/13, to develop options for improving the effectiveness of the process; and
Develop proposals for enabling improved information flows that support the prior informed consent procedure for those chemicals.
The Conference of the Parties also called on interested parties and observers to nominate experts for participation in the intersessional working group and invited parties to consider serving as lead country for undertaking the work of the group.
In July 2015, Australia volunteered to act as lead country of the intersessional process. Subsequently, a background note and a workplan were circulated to the nominated experts of the group. Following this, Australia developed a thought-starter document with targeted questions that was submitted to the group for comments. The thought-starter document and the comments received will serve as a basis for discussions at the upcoming workshop in Riga, Latvia, from 3 to 5 July 2016.
The group is requested to report on its work to the Conference of the Parties at its eighth meeting.